Coke tasting!

This probably seems silly, but we had so much fun with this and it was sooooo cheap! Only $7 and it was a blast.

At the Coke store on the strip you can buy two trays of soda from around the world. Then you have a little tasting. We did it and took notes for the blog!

So you get two trays with eight different sodas on them.

Tray One: Peru, Mauritius (interesting side note, for several years when I was a pre-teen, I had a pen pal named Henri who lived in Mauritius, a small island off the coast of East Africa), Tanzania, Estonia, Japan, Zimbabwe, China, and England. 

Tray Two: Mexico, Costa Rica, South Africa, South Africa, Djibouti, China, Italy (We HATE YOU ITALY! But we'll get to that later), and Germany.

Then we tasted them. Here are some really terrible pictures of us taste testing.

So here is the breakdown and our thoughts. We used a four star rating system.
Tray 1:
  1. Inca Cola, Peru ***
  2. Sunfill Blackcurrant, Mauritius **
  3.  Stoney Tangawizi, Tanzania Zero stars. It was spicy with a gingery? flavor. No one liked it. 
  4. Fanta Magic, Estonia **
  5. Vegitabeta, Japan * (this wasn't carbonated, it was sort of syrupy like soda here when the CO2 tank is empty). 
  6. Sparlette Sparberry, Zimbabwe * not really a flavor? We were just confused by this one. 
  7. Smart Watermelon, China **1/2 Kim and Katie liked this ok, I thought it was gross. 
  8. Kinely Lemon, Englad *** I was not happy about "lemon" but it was surprisingly good, and we would probably drink it if Mexico wasn't nearby. 

Tray 2:
  1.  Manzanit, Mexico. **** The thing about this, is for us in Tucson, this is local and you can buy it at any grocery store, and in some restaurants, particularly on the south side of town you can buy it in a glass bottle. It is delish. We all love it already. It was a legit win, and a saving grace when we got around to Italy. 
  2. Fanta Kolita, Costa Rica. Boo! We hated this. 
  3. Bibo Kiwi Mango, South Africa ** this flavor was ok, but like Japan, it's not carbonated and was sort of syrupy and sweet.
  4. Bibo Pinenut, South Africa ***1/2, this was closest any other soda came to Mexico, it was not carbonated either but we all really liked the sweet flavor. We think that Pinenut in South Africa is Pineapple to us. 
  5. Sunfill Mint, Djibouti ** this was like a sweet mint tea. 
  6. Smart Apple, China *** this was similar in taste to a green jolly rancher candy, much stronger flavor than the apple flavor in Manzanita, but still really good. 
  7. Beverly, Italy We hate you. You were so nasty that I wasn't about to put it in my mouth. Kim was gagging and looking around in desperation for a place to spit it out, while Katie took a drink (she is not very bright, I'm sorry to say) and then she reacted the same way. They both declared it nasty, and gave it the unfavorable moniker "Death in a cup". 
  8. Mezzo Mix, Germany * yuck. But after Italy, anything deserves at least one star. 

 Kim liked this one. I can't remember what it is.
 This is the watermelon

 I think I'm holding the one from England.

 Death in a cup. Kim had recovered enough to smile, but Katie was still considering just dying.

Don't let it fool you, Beverly might look like Sprite, but she is out to get you.


This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We also went to The Tournament of Kings, we were seated in "France" and had a great time eating our food with our fingers and cheering for our King. :) Dinner was really good too, IMO, I'm not a foodie or anything. But the cornish hens, tomato soup and baby red potatoes and broccoli were right up my alley. No camera's allowed here. We also saw Criss Angel's show, and he is a spectacular magician,but you can't take pics there either. :) At the end he let us take out camera's so this is all I have. It was a lot of fun to watch though.

So zip lining. Down Freemont Street. Sooooo incredibly cool, and for $20 totally worth it! Kim is not a fan of heights so she passed. Katie and I bought the "reserved" VIP pass (Hint: it doesn't cost more and will save you an hour or more of waiting in line, but they don't advertise it).
I didn't have my good camera with me, but someone in line with us took this fun picture of us. That big lit up arch in the background is the light ceiling over Freemont Street.

Then there were all the random and fun things to see on the "old strip".

 There are some extremely odd people on the strip. This cupid guy caught my eye first. But he just did not compare to the woman I saw next.
 I think they are larger than her head. She also was not happy that I took a pic with my zoom, they work for tips. I didn't tip. She sure gave me a nasty look though huh?

 Here's a video of some of the light show. Very cool stuff. If you ever get a chance to go see it, do. It's worth the weirdness.

More Vegas...

Katie's brother-in-law CJ and his wife Jen have a condo in Vegas and are really generous in letting people stay there when they don't need it. It was a great room, and so appreciated!

It has a pretty cool view too. (As cool of a view as you can get in a desert. I live in one. I'm not impressed).
First, I'm a sucker for gorgeous bathrooms, and this one was wonderful. Everyone is generally really happy about that big tub to the left that is jetted and really deep, but I am not a bath person, so it didn't do anything for me. 

This is the view from the balcony. Just some fun shots of the patio and pool and then out across the city.

In addition to the dolphins and the sharks, we did a fun little thing called the "CSI" experience. There is a televsion show on called CSI and it's really popular. So this is set up like a crime scene, and you go in and investigate and try to determine what happened. It was pretty cheesy, but still fun, and a good way to spend some time if you don't want to gamble.
I took a picture, but then Katie said there were signs everywhere that said I couldn't take pictures so I put it away. Here is my illegal, blurry shot. ;)

We also gambled, and I lost everything I bet, but Kim and Katie came out ahead over the four days. :)
Our favorite thing to do was to play penny slots with games and Sex and the City (based on a show none of us has ever watched but might now!) was our favorite and was fun.

We also spent a ton of time just window shopping. Never a dull moment. :)

Here are some random pics from that. Then a whole new post about two of the things I thought were the most fun. Ziplining on Freemont street and Coke tasting!

We went to wander around the Wynn for a bit, and it was just beautiful inside. Here is a snapshot of one of the bars, and then a few from the gardens inside. The flower balls hanging from the trees are so beautiful!

We saw this display and from several feet away I saw it!
The Firedancer! (My sisters think I'm crazy, but I can live with that.)

The Firedancer is from the Dave Matthews Band. It's a logo design Dave drew, and I can spot it anywhere. I love the band, and always find stuff like this to be fun. It's like finding a little treasure you didn't know you were looking for. It makes me smile. 

Kim loves purses, so this seemed a fitting backdrop to make her pose for me.

 These two pictures were in front of a cool wall, but the execution didn't go as well as I had hoped. So I messed around with some photoshop editing to make them somewhat presentable, they aren't great, but they are all we managed to take. We are dumb.

Girls Trip to Vegas!

Kim and Katie and I all headed to Vegas on March 12th for spring break/girls trip. We had actually planned that for last year, but things were interrupted by all of Della's health issues. This year was a much better year, and we had a great time.

We stayed at the MGM Signature, Katie's brother-in-law CJ and his wife Jenn own a condo and they let us stay there for no cost. It was a really nice perk!

We got in pretty early in the day on Tuesday and spent time walking around seeing the sights. We ended up at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage.

First stop was to see all the males swimming around in their pool. This guy was determined to break down the gate with his teeth.

The babies were my favorite. This sweetheart kept laying up on this ledge and chattering at all of us humans. Then the others would come over and push on her tail until she fell in. Over and over again. 
 So sweet and innocent.
 Mean friend pushing her in. (She doesn't look like she minds terribly though. ;) )

And...into the water! 
We went to the secret garden section where the big cats are housed, but they were all passed out in a dark corner, or pacing so fast I couldn't get a good shot. There was one white tiger that was a total jerk though, he had torn up all of the sod in his enclosure, just ripped it up out of the ground and piled it up all around. Then he waltzed over to the people that were watching him, turned his back to us, peed, and then went back to the corner and started ripping up more sod. Katie said he is probably the uncle of our cat Loco, who as it happens, is also something of a jerk. 
I took this picture for Kira though: 
 she loves jaguars and so I thought this one made of moss would make her happy. And it did. She loved it.
  After this we got back to the pool where the males are housed and just in time to see them do fun jumps for fish. They say they are not trained and that they can choose to show off or not, and sometimes they just come to get a snack. I don't know if that's really how it works or not. But none the less it was fun to watch.
 And we were right behind a trainer, by pure luck and so I got some great close ups!

Here is a video of the babies playing around a little! 
And one of the big guys doing some fun jumps! 

So that's about it for the dolphin show. More pics about other things to come.